How did the British plan to kill Hitler?
In 1944 the SOE (Special Operations Executive) drew up some plans to kill Hitler. The documents you are about to look at detail two of the proposed assassination plans that formed part of Operation Foxley.
You are going back to 1944. As Head of SOE it is your job is to decide which of two ways of killing Hitler should be given the go-ahead. You must look at the dangers involved and the chances of success. When these plans were revealed in July 1998 they caused world media interest. This is a unique chance to work with these original and secret documents.
- What is the 'object' of Operation Foxley?
- How many different methods are put forward?
- Where is the assassination likely to be carried out? Find the two places mentioned.
1. Read Source 1. This is the introduction to Operation Foxley, the British plan to assassinate Hitler.
- What method of killing Hitler is described here?
- What is meant by the word 'medium'?
- What is meant by the word 'operatives'?
- Briefly describe how the cleaners could be used to kill Hitler.
- Who else could be used in this plan?
- What will cause the poison to mix in the water?
2. Read Source 2. This piece of the file details the plans for assassination at Salsburg railway station.
- How much of 'I' kills?
- What would 'I' not be suitable for? Why is this?
- List all the reasons why 'I' is the best 'medium' to use.
3. Read Source 3. This section of the plan describes the poison which could be used.
- How likely is there to be the right opportunity to put this plan into action?
- If the plan goes ahead, how likely is it to kill rather than just injure Hitler?
- How likely is it that the people carrying out the plan will be caught?
4. Read Source 4. This section of the plan details Hitler's drinking habits.
Read Hitler's drinking habits carefully. What would be the best way of poisoning him without the poison being detected?
Consider the following factors in your answer:
5. Read Source 5. This section of the plan deals with the opportunities to assassinate Hitler in Obersalzberg. How will the assassins know whether Hitler is in Obersalzberg?
6. Look at Source 6. This is a map of the area of the Berghof, Hitler's home in Obersalzberg.Study the map carefully. Where do you think would be a good place to make the assassination attempt? Why is this?
- Find Hitler's walk on the map shown in Source 6. Was this one of the locations you suggested?
- How well protected is Hitler on this walk?
- What cover does the area provide for would-be assassins?
7. Read Source 7. This section of the plan describes the opportunity to assassinate Hitler during one of his daily walks.
- Can you work out where on the map (Source 6) the assassins should launch their attack on Hitler?
- What weapons should the assassins carry?
- What disguises are suggested?